In London now.  Flying tomorrow.  Have sent emails to lots of contacts in Rio.  No way of knowing who will get back to me, as Brasilians don’t always functions through the medium of email.

Just got word from Julia Michaels, author of the excellent bilingual blog  RioReal , that there will be a Baile Funk party in Centro on Sunday.  Traditionally, Baile Funks are the work of the bandidos – all night parties thrown for the favela residents by the drug gangs that control the community.  One of the upshots of the UPP movement is that they no longer allow funk parties, based on the explicit sexual nature of the lyrics, and the promotion of criminal activity enshrined there too.

Sunday’s party will be a daytime affair, and state sponsored too.  Will many favela residents show up? Or, will it be a little rich kid “getting down and dirty”, pretending to be favelados affair.  Lets see.  Making contact now in a few UPP controlled favelas.

Would like to go see Cidade de Deus, where the film of the same name was based.  The UPP were brought in there fllowing the international attention brought about by the film of the same name.  Last year, the local drug gang burnt a commuter van full of people.  They said they wanted to send a message that UPP was not cool, not welcome, not working.

What’s the situation like there now?  Would be great to sneak a peek.  Lets see how time runs.

On the flight now.  Just two hours to landing.  Have had a response from Viva Favela, so will try to organise something with them early in the week.  They are an NGO working in the area of youth and violence within the favela network.

Also, have had word back from Manuel, who has been conducting a study of residents reactions to the UPP movement for a Industry Federation.  Unfortunately, he is in Paris right now, but hoping there may be someone on the ground in Rio that can chat on this.  Or, maybe he can at least make some of his, as yet unpublished, findings known to me.

Excited now at the prospect of landing and getting cracking at this project.

Still don’t have a contact within the police themselves, but will be in a UPP HQ in Providencia on Tuesday visiting English language project, so hopefully can speak to some officers there then.

Awaiting more community contacts to get back to me.  Hopefully, it will all come together ok within such a short timeframe.